Friday, 28.3.2008: Oil and Gas Revenues Must Have Special Accounts

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Week 553 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 553

“According to an announcement by the United Nations Development Program [UNDP] of 26 March 2008, Cambodia presented a detailed plan for the management of oil and gas resources to ensure sustainable economic development and poverty reduction. Mr. Sok An, a deputy prime minister and the chairperson of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, said that the government had set its vision to obtain long-term rather than short-term benefits from oil and gas resources. He added that the plan, which includes the establishment of legal frameworks and human resource developments, is a crucial step in working toward sustainable economic development.

“A conference on Fueling Poverty Reduction with Oil and Gas Revenues was conducted in order to exchange information and experiences with various countries. This was the first such event taking place in Cambodia. The conference had approximately 500 participants from inside the country and from across the globe. Representatives from other countries who are successful in tapping natural resources to serve their societies urged Cambodia to pay close attention to the issue of oil and gas resources.

“Mr. Arne Walther, a former secretary-general of the International Energy Forum, explained the methods that Norway had used, to become a model for the careful utilization of natural resources, when the country had discovered substantial natural resources under the sea in the 1970s. He said, ‘There was the political will to carefully take a step forward, without letting the substantial revenue from petroleum affect or obstruct the traditional model of the Norwegian society.’

“Ms. Genoveva José da Costa, an Advisor to the São Tomé and Principe Minister of Natural Resources, said that transparent laws and regulations are crucial for all these processes. She added that her country established special accounts for all revenues from natural resources. She explained, ‘Doing so establishes a single target for all the income from petroleum, and it makes it easy to monitor the flow of expenses and to guarantee that they are used safely.’ Experts also discussed legal frameworks, preparation of fiscal taxes, contract negotiations, and reliable methods to study how to handle the basic resources.

“Mr. Jo Scheuer, the Cambodian country director of the UNDP, said, ‘The conference was an open forum to encourage media coverage and to provide for a creative open discussion. We hope that the conference will pave the way for all participants’ further discussion in coming years.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6308, 28.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 28 March 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #74, 28.3.2008

  • Electricité du Cambodge Is Incompetent to Provide Sufficient Electricity to Phnom Penh [but compare growing energy production achieved]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1604, 28.3.2008

  • State Sells 100 Tonnes of Rice per Day, Making Rice Price Decline

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #567, 28.3.2008

  • Hun Sen Increases Salaries by 10% for Teachers; Prices of Goods Increase by 100%

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #125, 28-29.3.2008

  • Increasing Prices of Rice and Goods May Kill Hun Sen’s Political Ambition Like the Lon Nol Regime Experienced It Before Its Collapse
  • Oil Business Would Make Corrupt People Well Off in 2011
  • Factory Owners Agree to Increase Salaries by US$5 for Workers at [president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony’s Request

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6308, 28.3.2008

  • Oil and Gas Revenues Must Have Special Accounts

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3424, 28.3.2008

  • [US Ambassador] Joseph A. Mussomeli: If Threat and Intimidation against Opposition Activists Continue It Will Affect the Elections
  • [Minister of Environment] Mok Mareth Boasts that 59% of Khmer Trees Remain; Non-Government Organization Officials Say that Only 20% of Trees Remain

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4552, 28.3.2008

  • Minister of Commerce Says there Is No Shortage of Rice
  • In the Meantime the Government Bans Rice Exports, and It Allows Pig Imports
  • Samdech Dekchor [Prime Minister Hun Sen]: ‘Cambodian People’s Party Is Center of National Solidarity’
  • Japan Provides Loan of ¥3.651 Million [approx. US$36.5 million] for Development of Special Economic Zone [in Sihanoukville]
  • National Assembly Starts to Discuss and to Adopt Draft Law on Administrative Management of Municipality, Provinces, Towns, and Districts
  • Mobile Customs Officers Seize 30,000 l of Smuggled Fuel in Kompong Cham

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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